It’s not enough to select the right sine wave inverters for your power needs during a power outage. It would be best if you also used the right batteries to store the power you need in emergencies.
Batteries are perfect for storing energy, and inverters convert the stored DC energy into the same AC energy you get at your sockets. They store energy while being charged, and release energy when discharged.
Types of battery technologies
There are various battery technologies used, but the most common are lead-acid batteries. They comprise of lead oxide plates and spongy lead immersed in sulphuric acid solution. The entire system is contained in a durable housing and perfect to use with inverters and mobile power solutions.
Lead-acid batteries are the recommended choice for batteries because:
- They are inexpensive and widely available
- They are durably built and durable if properly used and stored
- It boasts of a lower self-discharge rate when compared to other battery technologies
- The batteries are easy to manufacture and virtually maintenance-free
- They quickly produce lots of energy, that’s vital in inverter applications
You can use lead-acid batteries in situations requiring a sudden burst of electricity like while starting a boat’s engine. Or they can be used to produce a slow and steady discharge of electricity to power devices like televisions.
While these two situations warrant different battery technologies, there are some similar characteristics. As long as they are the same amp, they take the same time to recharge. And all types of lead-acid batteries tend to get damaged by heat and if stored in a discharged state.
Starter batteries, however, run on a simple technology.
They comprise of multiple thin lead plates dipped in the electrolyte that provides increased surface area. It, in turn, stores and discharges lots of electricity, and is perfect to start your car on a frosty morning.
The batteries that work best with inverters, and ideal for deep cycling, have thick plates. While they are not for short, high current use, good-quality batteries can discharge and recharge more than 1500 times. Starting batteries however can be discharged only 30 times, after which it can’t be charged.
The charging requirements for both battery types may be different. However, charging them according to the manufacturer’s instructions helps protect your investment.
It’s because improper charging only reduces the battery’s capacity and life cycle. Overcharging can lead to over gas or boiling, while undercharging can lead to sulfate.
The battery’s sulfur crystals tend to deposit on the plate’s active material whenever you use the inverter. However, the crystals aren’t forced back into the solution in case of undercharged batteries.
It in turn hardens and thickens the crystals to reduce access of electrolytes to the plate. It eventually reduces the battery’s capacity.
How big a battery do you need?
You can ascertain this only if and when you know the total wattage of the products you want it to power. Most devices have their wattage listed out in their manual. You have to add up the wattages of devices the inverter will most likely power and buy your battery accordingly.
However, you should know that batteries tend to last longer if you only discharge them to 50% and recharge as soon as possible. It means you need a battery that delivers about 200 amp-hours if you plan to run a 2-amp light for 50 hours.
Of course, you can discharge batteries much more than this. However, if you do, you only end up reducing the battery’s cycle life.
Good deep cycle batteries can deliver 1,500 or more discharges up to 50% level. However, you reduce the cycles to a hundred or so if you increase the release to 95%. That’s why it’s better to buy a bigger battery for your inverter while buying one. You’ll only end up with damaged cells and need to replace them.
And never mix old batteries with new ones in the bank. It won’t increase the bank’s overall capacity, but the old batteries instead reduce the new batteries’ level to their deteriorated level.
Your Exeltech technician will always be ready to help you select the right battery for your sine wave inverters.